On Building an Audience

One of the most competitive things that you and I can do as builders and creators of products and companies is tell the story of not only what we’re building but also why we’re building it.

This allows you to do many things that end up being a major competitive advantage for you and your growing business, especially if you’re starting from scratch (i.e. early-stage startup).

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Going Back to (Startup) School

Never stop learning” is a trustworthy adage that everyone can agree with. But what I’ve discovered is that there are two types of learners out there, the first are those that are proactive in their efforts to continue learning and then there are those that are less so.

It’s not that the latter group doesn’t continue to learn – they do and they can learn a ton! Most folks fall into this group as they continue to build relationships, grow their career, and encounter new challenges through the work that they already do.

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Intern with Pinpoint

I’m excited to share that I’m opening up a small “internship program” today!

The reason for the quotes is that there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to call it an internship but that’s what it essentially is, so, I’ll dispense with the creativity and call it what it is!

If you’re interested then continue to read! If not, well, there’s always yesterday’s issue of #EngOps which has some really good content to read, curated by yours truly!

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A Few Stats on our #EngOps Newsletter, 5 Issues In.

A few weeks ago we rebooted our newsletter and are currently working to publish 2 issues per week (tomorrow will be our 6th).

Although we’re just beginning to gather data around our effectiveness I thought that I’d share a few stats that we have so far and give you some additional thoughts on what we’re doing and how we’ve managed to put things together.

So let’s jump in.

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EngOps Newsletter

We’ve been iterating on every part of our small (but growing) project every week and this obviously includes many of our public and more forward-facing experiments as well.

And over the past few months our email newsletter has taken a number of different forms, starting with just an “announce only” newsletter for general and more infrequent updates and then morphing into a daily subscription that included a mega-list of tools, resources, and more.

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The Convergence of Product and Content

When we first started putting things together we not only began building product but we also began creating content. As mentioned in a previous post, we simply didn’t want to leave this opportunity on the table, especially since it was in the realm of our control.

And as we’ve shared we’ve experimented with a number of product iterations (e.g. news feeds, bots) as well as content strategies (e.g. email newsletters, twitter, this blog). Like any good startup, experimentation, early customer feedback, and speed are our greatest assets and a distinct competitive advantage.

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Building an Alpha Test Group

If you’ve been following us on Twitter (and if you’re not, then, jump on it!) then you may have already seen a few tweets about getting a few folks to start testing out our prototype.

So far we’ve got a handful of folks who have been more than willing to give it a go and we’re still looking for a few brave souls to enter into the fray! Just fill out a very quick form and we’ll start a conversation!

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The Making of a Great (Developer) Blog

If you’re subscribed to this blog (or follow on Twitter) then you may have noticed a small yet significant uptick on the posting here, moving from at least one blog post a week to two.

And, as many of you know, writing can take up a lot of time, even when the quality and output is somewhat mediocre and balancing the consistent practice and discipline of writing for a business blog with the work of business-building is really difficult.

And that’s not to taken lightly. Most business blogs, especially in the early stages, are completely bare if not altogether absent from the scene.

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Building a (Developer) Community from Scratch

I’ve been thinking about building out our customer and developer community as we start putting things together here and there’s so many exciting opportunities to do this really well (and a ton of great resources and how-tos) that can be used for modeling.

And, to a certain degree, there isn’t a right or wrong way to build a successful community around the product, assuming that you have the right ingredients to get things kicked off. Our team does has some significant experience building communities, developer-centric ones especially, but there are always newer tools to consider and ways to engage.

So, exactly how does one start?

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